If only for the ideals it espouses. If only for the warning that with a single incident, and others that follow, that any country on this planet, especially one that has a large, vulnerable middle-class to be exploited, can fall into the same trap that that London has fallen. The people are herdlike, they are frightened, and they are scared. It is never the enemy without that is the most dangerous, but the enemy within. The idea that you could be betrayed by someone who is close to you, someone you trust, is the easiest idea to spread. It is the easiest idea to take root, the easiest idea, to control.
It doesn’t help that earlier today, I finished reading Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale. While the book speaks about a country that has been frightened into subservience, the observation it makes is frighteningly similar to what V exposes. I can see now why the book (Codename: V) has been banned in certain places. It is not the storyline itself that is scary. It is not the characters themselves, but rather, what they represent. It is not that the ideal they propose is terrifying yet unreal. NO.
The ideas that people can be manipulated by their fears, the ideas that the very people the citizens (rakyat/people) of a country trusts to protect them, leads to a lesson that most parents learn when their children are adolescents. The more you make it forbidden, the more it simmers. The more the idea of freedom is tempting. However, as observed in Battle Royale, allowing the people certain small escapes, making them think that these little joys are all they have to be thankful for, works better at coralling people than the most absolute restrictions. It’s the same with V. People are happy to simply live. They are happy to simply survive. When you’re young, that’s something you cannot accept, but when you have children, your thoughts are no longer for yourself.
It is said by some people, that people do things for their children. Yet this normally happens on a personal level. It happens on a level that people can see, can touch, can see how it affects their lives directly. How many people would truly rise up against a government and say, “This is wrong,” even if they know it? How many?
Parents are afraid not for themselves, but for their children, should they choose to take that path. To make this country (not the world, that’s another story), I believe blood will have to be spilled. Not because it is the only and easiest way. I do not believe that. However, if we could have made this country better, if we could have clung to the ideals that gave birth to this nation in the first place, then we would have been welcomed to the negiotation table. We would have been able to sit down with the leaders of this country. Not only the political leaders, but the religious leaders who seem to wield more and more influence; influence that is becoming insidious. Influence that allows idiots like Nazri and bigots to flourish (I shall not name names because I do not want to give them traffic. If you wish to know who they are, look out for the bloggers who cannot seem to accept a viewpoint other than their own, and who will not fight for another’s person right to speak, because to speak would be to insult religions. And who say they study comparative religion, yet unable to find the faith to understand why others might not choose their path).
Malaysia is like that Britain of V. We became that country the moment we allowed fear of what happened in 1969 to happen. In this year, remember not just the 5th of November. Remember not just 31 August. Remember 13 May, 1969. Because that was the day we allowed fear to reign. That was the day we silenced ourselves.
And no, Black Office. I am not suggesting we blow up Parliament. It has not reached that stage… Yet.